German election live blog

September 25, 2009

Welcome to the live blog of the German election, a showdown between Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (left) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (right). More than 50 Reuters correspondents, photographers and television crews in Berlin and across Germany will be tracking the story throughout the weekend.

And in this box you will be able to follow the latest twists and turns throughout the weekend. We’re using #germanelection as the hashtag if you want to follow us on Twitter.

Here is a glimpse of the Reuters office in Berlin that will be delivering the story to Germany and the world.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Hope you won’t miss a single speech by Peer Steinbr├╝ck. It’s so refreshing that a member of the German Monster Raving Loony Party has achieved such a prominent position.

Posted by John Lamble | Report as abusive

too slowely.

Posted by nigel | Report as abusive

I’m a German immigrant living in the United States. Since I was lazy to register for voting abroad I shouldn’t complain about the outcome but I’m still disappointed of my former landsmen. [Too understand the outcome of the election one needs to know that Germany uses a nation-wide relative voting system. That’s why they have a 5-party system instead of 2. This election the 2 big parties in the middle – social-democrates and conservatives – lost a lot and the 3 smaller parties gained a lot.]

The communists have reentered parliament with 11% a second time. There’s hope that this is just a consequence of the financial crises, but it looks more like the communists will stay as fith party in the system for good.

The environmentalists scored within their best result ever with 10% since everybody seems to believe the economy can be fixed with “green jobs”. However, they will not participate in the government-coalition. They won the election but didn’t gain power from it.

The pirates (fighting for more basic rights and lower punishments on copyright-violations) got only 1,9% and will not enter parliament which means that the population is still not aware how much the government ignores basic rights.
Privacy is well protected in Germany and it’s a very safe country but free speech has always been a difficult topic.

The social democrates (like Democrates in America) are on an all-time low. The political leaders of the “Sozis” (especially last cancelor Schroder) saw the need for a more capitalistic and less socialistic system more as their voters did. They did the right thing and got punished for it.

The conservatives (like republicans in America) benefit from the weakness of the “Sozis” but that doesn’t mean they’re strong. They’re the stongest party in parliament now, but still with less seats as ever before. Nobody really likes them since they lost their political profile ruling together with the Sozis and supporting America in Afghanistan made them unpopular. However they reached their goal to continue governing. To continue governing together with the neo-liberals instaed of the sozis as they did the last 4 years.

The neo-liberals (pro-capitalism) scored their best result ever. They’re the only ones who really won the election. However, now that they have to govern they’ll stop talking about lower taxes soon and try to save money wherever they can. Germany’s financial situation is maybe better as America’s but still the worst since WW2.

Conclusion: Mrs. Merkel continues governing in spite of being unqualified for her job and having no political profile. However, ruling together with the neo-liberals rather than the social-democrats will still change the goverment’s course dramatically. The population – who’s always been taught to think socialistic – won’t be to happy about it.
America will benefit since Merkel has always tried to keep a good relationship with America rather than Eastern-Europe and Russia and has defended Germany’s engagement in Afghanistan in spite of 65-80% of Germany’s population calling for instant withdrawal.

Posted by Lukas Thurner | Report as abusive